№9 LEMON is KETO and is a life-saver!
Some really extreme "keto specialists" exclude lemons from their "diet". They also advise others to do the same. This is simply irresponsible! Let's do the math together and see why lemon is actually not only essential, but also an essential tool for your low-carb/keto regime.
There is a clash of opinions whether lemon alkalizes the body. My answer is...it does not matter.
You can go and find a chemical equation explaining how vinegar when digested eventually will alkalize the urine because its byproduct sodium acetate is an alkalizer, says Mark Roseman, Biochemistry Professor. His article you can fully read here https://www.quora.com/How-is-lemon-alkaline-forming-when-it-is-itself-an-acid-fruit . You can read further about lemons, and what they do or don't do.
Here are the important facts about lemons, that I have a proof of practically, which in my opinion are the important ones:
1. When people start on keto they tend to eat a lot of meat on average. When people start to do bodybuilding they do the same. Protein from meat is acidic, no dispute here. Protein also makes kidneys work harder. The kidneys are a problem, but so is uric acid. Uric acid is in the blood, not the urine. Purine in meat makes crystals, plainly put, that if not cleaned out of the blood naturally, start to build up in the bones. This is how you get gout disease, a type of arthritis. They call it here "The King's Disease" because long time ago only kings had the opportunity to meat excessively. The poor people who ate meat once a week or almost never, never had that problem. "According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, this happens because drinking lemon juice causes your body to release more calcium carbonate. The calcium mineral bonds to uric acid and breaks it down to water and other compounds. This makes your blood less acidic and lowers uric acid levels in the (body." https://www.healthline.com/health/lemon-juice-gout). Over the last 4 years I have worked with people who got on keto with gout disease. They also were taking medications for their gout disease. They were on much smaller meat and fish portions than the rest of the clients, so they could process out the purine. They were drinking lemon water (with a straw) throughout the day. They all, with no exceptions, reported feeling much better, they lost weight. I had even more clients who had high uric acid, not escalated to gout yet, who drinking lemon with moderate amount of meat and fish lowered their uric acid to normal, no medication. Everybody should monitor their uric acid! Not just the pH of the urine!
2. Citrate, a salt in citric acid, binds to calcium and helps block stone formation! I have many examples of people who had minor kidney stones who were able to break it down with drinking lemon water. One recent example was with very small kidney stones which were already starting to cause problems. She stopped eating spinach and started drinking lemon water (again, with a straw), we stopped the tomatoes as well and garlic, she had low prolactin levels etc., pimples on her face, although she had given birth to two children and was not a teenager at all. Her Vitamin D levels were very low, some "doctor" had told her she had a sun allergy and she was hiding away from the sun for two years. Anyway, six months later all this was fixed, pimples gone, kidney stones gone. Yes, her body is prone to forming kidney stones so she must maintain this process constantly, but it is a small price to pay to be back to health!
3. Keto newbees also tend to eat very few vegetables if any in attempt to lose weight quick. This is a common problem with women and they are the last ones who should do this. One lemon provides about 35% of the daily dose of needed Vit. C (1500-1800 cal diet). Vitamin C is needed to absorb iron. Women who still have their period, 80% of them suffer from low iron in their blood and feel sluggish especially around that time that we all hate. Lemon water is essential to keeping your Vit. C levels normal. One lemon produces only about 10 calories and 3 g of carbs. Even if you went to two lemons, it is still 6 g of carbs. Some people insist on staying under 20 g per day net and find this a huge amount of carbs, but the reality is that if you are stuffing yourself with meat to get to 20 g of carbs you better take that lemon or you will end up with ill kidneys and gout!
4. Vitamin C from a real lemon is not equal to "Vitamin C" or ascorbic acid from the pharmacy. Please read my previous article on that topic. Constant inhaling of vitamin C in the form of pills actually causes kidney stones. In the beginning of the pandemic I had a client who was paranoid and took way too much Vitamin C and D, medicinal grade Vitamin D, and instead of boosting his immune system he ended up with kidney stones and on top of that losing calcium from the bones because this is what excessive Vitamin D consumption does... The only natural normal form of Vitamin C that is absorbed completely is from food. The pills are just the binding ingredient that holds the 4 elements that from the Vitamin C, and it sure binds...calcium in kidney stones. Simple, right?
5. Lemon contains not only Vitamin C but Potassium too. When on keto we need to drink more electrolytes than if eating carbs, Carbs absorb water so we gain water weight just by eating carbs, When we don't eat much carbs we don't store enough water so we feel thirsty most of the time. Processes in the body need not only water, they need electrolytes too and lemon in water provides a good part of them. If you add a pinch of Himalayan salt or just suck on the pink rocks like I do sometimes, you will feel better instantly. No need to take electrolytes from a capsule...nature provides it all! Save your money for a vacation!
6. Lemon does help clean out toxins, lower cholesterol etc, but it does not cure cancer neither by alkalizing the body, nor by providing too much Vitamin C...yes it does provide help in the fight with cancer, but it is not a miracle pill, so take statements of that sort with a big grain of salt as they say...cancer if caught in the beginning is usually all curable, so go get tested once a year, once six months if you have it running in your family, that is the best insurance you could get!
So if you doubt if lemon alkalizes the body, I'd say add vinegar to your salads, and drink lemon for the rest of the benefits. Always drink citric drinks with a straw to avoid ruining your enamel. Also, fresh just from lemon is quite harsh on the stomach, much water is needed for the processes to happen, for the enzymes to react, dilute the lemon in water and protect yourself from adding too much acid before the stomach had had the chance to bring the enzymes to fight!
Remember, the dosage defines if one food is a medicine or a poison!
The picture is courtesy of https://vitagene.com/blog/lemon-for-weight-loss/